Bruce was born May 21, 1927 In Cleveland, Ohio. His family soon moved to Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. where he spent his youth, meeting and going to grammar and high schools with his future bride, Barbara Fairbanks. During his high school years, World War II was in full swing, and like most young men of his generation, Bruce enlisted as soon as he could - joining the U.S. Marine Corps at the end of his junior year in high school in 1945.
He proudly served his country in the Pacific Theater, starting on Guam, then after the surrender of Japan, he was stationed in China as part of the China Marines - keeping the peace, and transitioning that country from the control of Japan to a freed nation.
After his first honorable discharge in 1949, Bruce was re-acquainted with his old classmate from Briarcliff - Barbara Fairbanks, and a romance that was to last the next 64 years came to be. Bruce had been called back to serve once again when the Korean war broke out, and the only way for a wedding to occur was for Bruce to go "AWOL"! They were married Dec. 22, 1951 and the great love of his life began with a quick ceremony, then back to the base at Camp LeJeune for a new staff sergeant training Marine recruits, with his new bride!
Upon completion of his Marine Corp Service in 1952, Bruce and Barbara began their lives together, working in and around New York City, until Bruce landed a job in the late 1950s with another childhood friend, Paul Bacon. Paul, who after his WWII service in the Marines, had established himself as an upcoming graphic artist in N.Y.C. designing book jacket and record album covers. Bruce worked with his best friend, at the soon to be famous "Paul Bacon Studios" for over a decade, expressing his artistic talents, and contributing to the covers of numerous famous novels.
Toward the end of the sixties, Bruce grew tired of the "Rat Race" and with much convincing to Barbara, he fulfilled a life-long dream of moving out west! The east coast life had become much too stressful and over-crowded for Bruce, and he longed for the wide open spaces of the west!
So in 1972, at age 45, after selling their home, leaving jobs and life-long friends and family, Bruce and Barbara packed up their 12 yea-old daughter and 9 year-old son , bought a pick up and camper and headed west! Finally after five months of driving all over the country, the Ross family saw on a map of northwest Montana, the "Ross Creek Cedar Grove." After a misty rainy hike at the park, Bruce continued on down the Bull River Road, and upon cresting a hill, saw three rainbows over the fields spread out before them ! When they visited the local real estate office the next day, they were brought right up to that very homestead, and that place became Bruce's other love, until the end of his life!
Bruce worked in and around Libby for many years - establishing his contracting business by building a new dentist office for Dr. Wood first, then a new home for him later. There were many other homes and businesses in and around Libby, Troy, Bull Lake/River, and Noxon area. In 1984, Bruce and Barbara built Ross Realty at the junction of Route 56 and Route 200, and Bruce slowly transitioned from construction to the real estate business with his wife Barbara.
Then in 1990, Bruce, at age 63, decided to join his son Jamie in Alaska, and ran his own commercial salmon fishing boat there for three years!
Retirement finally saw Bruce and Barbara in 1997 after they sold the real estate business, and they gardened, traveled and enjoyed their children and grandchildren for the remaining years.
Bruce lived a wonderful life, remained a proud Marine and Patriot, and died on his beloved homestead in the Bull River valley- which he ensured shall remain unchanged for perpetuity, by placing it all under a conservation easement - and where he shall be laid to rest and remain forever.
Bruce is survived by his cherished wife, Barbara; sister, Shirley Ross and brother, Robert Ross; daughter, Meggen Fitchett and son-in-law, John of Heron, Mont.; son, Jamie Ross, and daughter-in-law Theresa, of Homer, Alaska; along with seven grandchildren, and numerous other family and friends.
Bruce touched the lives of everyone he met, and shall be remembered and missed by all who had the privilege to know him.
In lieu of flowers or cards, please make a small donation to the CARD clinic of Libby, to help fight this dreadful disease.
Bruce Donald Ross, Born May 21, 1927 - Died November 15, 2013.